Summer Nachos with Mango & Nectarine salsa

I love fruity salsas and now that summer is in full swing, it is the perfect excuse to make it with all the wonderful produce out there. This is a vegetarian recipe which can easily be made vegan if you skip on the sour cream.  You can either fry or bake the tortilla chips. I ended up doing half of them baked and the other half of them fried, since I had a little problem with my oven.

For the tortillas:

About 12 tortillas (I used 3 different colors)

Vegetable oil

Pinch of salt

For the mango & nectarine salsa:

1 medium mango, very finely chopped

1 nectarine, very finely chopped

1 medium red onion, very finely chopped

1 medium jalapeño, very finely chopped (without seeds)

1 medium red chili, very finely chopped (without seeds)

Juice of 1 lime

1 ½ tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

Salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

3 tablespoons of chopped coriander

Extra toppings:

The kernels of one ear of corn, cooked

4 radishes, thinly sliced

1 avocado, thinly sliced

Extra jalapeño slices

Extra red chili slices

125grs of sour cream

 

You can either bake or fry your tortilla chips.

If you bake them, preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush each tortilla with a bit of vegetable oil. Then using kitchen scissors or a knife, cut each tortilla into small triangles. Spread the small pieces of tortilla in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle a bit of salt. Bake them for about 10-12 minutes, till crispy. Repeat for the rest.

If you fry your tortilla chips, place about ½ cup of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Fry the pieces of tortilla till golden on both sides. Do it in batches without overcrowding the pan. This will only take about a minute or two, so keep an eye on them. Once fried, place them in a plate lined with some paper towels and sprinkle them with a bit of salt.

To make the salsa, just mix the finely chopped mango and nectarine with the remaining ingredients. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Set it aside.

To assemble the nachos, first place the tortillas in a sheet pan or plate. Add small dollops or quenelles of sour cream all over. Then spread the mango & nectarine salsa. Sprinkle the corn kernels over the chips. Top with some slices of radishes, avocado, jalapeño and chili. Serve right away and enjoy!

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Popcorn with Pecans and Oven-Baked Rainbow Beet & Carrot Chips

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Yesterday I was craving a salty snack so I made this combination of popcorn, pecans and oven-baked veggie chips. I used rainbow carrots and beets to add some color.

Ingredients:

For the popcorn:

1/3 cup of popcorn kernels

1 ½ vegetable oil, or coconut oil

Salt

For the beet and carrot chips:

1 medium purple carrot

1 medium yellow carrot

2 medium candy cane beets

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Salt

Extras:

1 cup of pecans

 

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

In a large pan with a lid, add the vegetable oil or coconut oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the popcorn kernels. Cover with the lid, and keep shaking the pan until all the kernels have popped. Transfer the popcorn to a large bowl, add salt and set aside.

Peel the carrots and beets. Using a mandoline, thinly slice them. Place the slices in a bowl. Add the olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Using your hands, rub the slices with the oil and vinegar so they are all well coated.

Place the slices on a single layer in the prepared baking tray and sprinkle them with some salt. Bake for 15 minutes and then flip each slice. Finally bake for an extra 5-10 minutes. This is where you need to check, so they don’t burn. They might need a little less time depending on your oven and the thickness of the slices.  Then transfer them to a cooling rack. Once the chips have cooled down, mix them with the popcorn and pecans. Serve right away and enjoy!

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Asparagus & Basil Risotto with Rainbow Carrots

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I went to the market yesterday and got beautiful asparagus that I decided to add to this risotto. To add some extra color and texture, I topped it with julienned rainbow carrots which I just sautéed with some olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. A comforting vegetarian dish that I had for dinner yesterday since the weather was still a bit chili. At least it stopped raining, so I won’t complain!

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This recipe serves 3

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

3 shallots, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

400gr of Arborio rice

1 bunch of asparagus

1 cup of white wine

1 ½ litter of vegetable stock plus 1 cup to blend with the basil

125ml of cream

1 bunch of basil

30gr of grated Parmesan

Salt

Pepper

3 rainbow carrots, julienned

Garlic powder

Extra olive oil to saute the vegetables

 

Start by prepping the vegetables. Chop off the tips of the asparagus and set them aside. Chop the stalks into small pieces and set aside. Slice the carrots into julienne.

Saute the julienned carrots in a bit of olive oil, a pinch of garlic powder, salt and pepper. Do it over medium heat for about 1 minute. For presentation purposes, I sauteed the purple carrots separately because they tend to stain the others.

Saute the asparagus tips in a bit of olive oil, a pinch of garlic powder, salt and pepper. They will also take about 1 minute depending on their size. Set aside.

Blend the basil with the cream and 1 cup of the vegetable stock, set aside.

Keep the stock warm in a pan with a ladle close by.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped shallots and cook for about 2 minutes until they become translucent. Add the minced garlic and rice. Stir for about 1 minute. Then, add the white wine and let it reduce.

Start adding the vegetable stock one ladle at a time and keep stirring. Once the liquid has reduced to half, keep adding more stock and stir. Keep doing this for about 20 minutes, until the rice is cooked.

Add the chopped asparagus stalks to the risotto along with the basil cream and parmesan. Stir until everything is combined and let it cook for about 1 minute to allow the liquid to evaporate a bit and become creamy again. Taste for salt.

Divide the risotto into 3 plates. Add the sautéed asparagus tips on top of the risotto. Finish by adding the sautéed carrots. Sprinkle some extra Parmesan if you want.

 

 

Roasted Carrot & Leek Salad with Greek Yogurt & Gorgonzola Dressing

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I wanted to make a simple salad of roasted vegetables that would be great to accompany any meat or be eaten on its own.  I don’t use leek enough as a main ingredient and it is such a nice vegetable. Roasting the leeks makes them silky and tender. Once they are roasted and you separate all the layers, they look almost like pasta.  I decided to add rainbow carrots to make the salad pop and add a different texture.  I made the gorgonzola dressing with Greek yogurt to make it a bit lighter.  This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

8 medium carrots (I used purple & yellow)

5 medium leeks (not the hard green parts)

4 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

Handful of pumpkin seeds, pine nuts or any other nuts/seeds that you may like

For the Dressing:

100gr of Gorgonzola

150gr of Greek yogurt

Juice of ½ a lime

½ teaspoon of mustard

Salt

Pepper

 

Peel and slice the carrots lengthwise. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Place the carrots on the prepared baking tray, drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add some salt.

Slice the leeks in half lengthwise. Clean them. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Arrange the leeks in a single layer. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add some salt. Cover the tray with aluminum foil. Seal it.

Roast the carrots and leeks in an 180C/350F oven for 30 minutes.

To make the dressing, just place all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.

To serve the salad, first separate the layers of the leeks and arrange them on each plate. Add some of the carrots. Drizzle some of the dressing and finish with the seeds/nuts.